Steve Ray turns a jaundiced eye…

on Obama’s promise to Churches re: gay “marriage”.

As I say: we’ll see. My expectation is that he won’t (because he can’t) force Churches to marry gays, but he will devise punishments for those that refuse to do so. Since the state largely does this via lawyers, guns and money, I expect these will be the tools deployed here: mainly lawyers and money. Declaring the Catholic Church a “hate group” is a favorite species of rhetoric in some circles. That will likely be an avenue for exploration, followed economic punishment of some kindm, such as revoking tax exempt status on some pretext or other.

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  • kenofken

    Why would Obama expend any more time or political capital fighting for gay church weddings? He’s in his second term, he doesn’t need them anymore, and they have far more pressing matters left in the civil law end of things. They still have what, 38 states that they need to concentrate on winning legislatively or in court cases. Forcing church weddings seems to be a zero priority for both the gay rights movement and certainly Obama, and the legal precedence against it, relative to that involving gay civil marriage, is an enormous barrier.

    • Ed Mechmann

      It’s not the President that we’re worried about. It’s the army of bureaucrats at IRS, Labor Department, HHS, etc. that we’re worried about. These people will be drafting the regulations, conducting administrative investigations and giving rulings, and bringing lawsuits. It will be a “death by a thousand cuts”.

      • John Simmins

        It’s the president I’m worried about.

      • kirthigdon

        Right. It’s not Obama or any specific president; it’s the regime, the US ruling political/cultural/legal/educational establishment as a whole. This will go on even, possibly more so, if the Republican half of the duopoly returns to power.

        Kirt Higdon

  • Martha O’Keeffe

    Yeah, it’ll be court cases like this one; ‘no, we don’t ask you to give them a religious ceremony inside your place of worship but on the other hand, if you’re renting out the parish hall to a straight couple then you have to rent it out to a gay couple or else’.

    • kenofken

      That’s not a religious freedom issue. It’s one of business law. When churches rent out space to the general public like any other event promoter, they should be subject to the same laws as any of us operating such a business venture.

      • The Deuce

        And the rest of us likewise shouldn’t be forced to engage in commerce that we view as immoral on pain of not being allowed to engage in commerce at all. Religious freedom is supposed to be for everyone, not just specific special organizations registered with tax-exempt status (consider that such entities didn’t even exist before the income tax was implemented). What this really means is that government endorsement of “gay marriage” as a civil right unavoidably has far-reaching consequences for religious freedom that go well beyond only religious institutions themselves.

        • kenofken

          Would you be ok with gays, or anyone for that matter, refusing business to Catholics?

  • ganganelli

    How long have we had anti-discrimination laws against women? Has President Obama or any other president tried to force those churches that don’t ordain women to do so? I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

    • chezami

      Uh, yes. Google “Hosanna Tabor”.

      • ganganelli

        I’m confused. I don’t see how this has anything to do with gender??

        • It does to the extent that Obama and the DOJ thought that they had a right to say in who becomes a minister in a church. (A teacher in this particular church is considered to have a ministerial function). The Supreme Court said “No you don’t” (9-0). One could easily imagine the administration, if they had won this fight, going on to say that a church must have female ministers or be discriminatory. But they lost. Thank God. For now.

        • kenofken

          It had nothing to do with gender. It was about the balance of anti-discrimination laws having to do with disability versus the latitude of religious groups to define who has “ministerial exception.” The church won a unanimous victory, despite what most people would consider an obvious bad-faith effort to appoint someone a “minister” after the fact for vindictive and financial reasons. This case effectively built a Himalayan-size barrier preventing the government from interfering in the internal rules of a religious organization. It is impossible to forsee any direct way in which the government could force a church to administer sacraments against their beliefs. This court decision alone is as good a protection as one can get without a separate Constitutional Amendment.

  • Gail Finke

    Or this: Parades must allow gay groups to march in parades, whatever they want to march about and whatever reasons gives or denies marchers, or pay for city services

  • JP

    The easiest thing, for Catholic priests who do not rely on the money made by marrying people, is to give up the marriage license. That way they are not capable of civilly marrying anyone.

    Anyone pushing a non-licensed person into performing a marriage ceremony would be opening a whole other can of worms.

  • Elmwood

    Considering that in Mexico, a country that was 99% catholic, elected a vehemently anti-catholic president who killed or expelled 4,000 priests in the 1920s, this potential development wouldn’t surprise me in the least. The devil has all the worldly high places under his dominion.

  • The Deuce

    That’s just crazy-talk, Mark. I don’t see how anyone could possibly get the idea that Obama has anything other than the utmost respect for the freedom of religious groups, or that he could possibly entertain a desire anywhere in his heart to diminish their ability to inculcate or adhere to their own beliefs:

  • Newp Ort

    Has any religious group been required to marry any two people straight or gay? Are catholic priests required to marry heterosexual Hindus, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Baptists, etc? What about divorced, lapsed, dissenting, unrepentant, etc catholics?

    • Newp Ort

      racial/ethnic bias seems to be pretty loosely enforced for tax exempt status for churches. without doing a ton of research, looks like tax exemption is denied to only the most extreme fringes like white supremacist churches. nation of Islam has tax exemption despite wide accusation of racism and anti-semitism. It was a while back, but LDS was tax exempt prior to ’78 when they still denied blacks full participation in their church.

      if gays become a fully protected group like race (which I hope for; full disclosure, florists be damned!) I can’t see large well established churches/mosques/etc to lose tax exemption.

      • Newp Ort

        Marriage is the hot button issue but education is where the first hits could come. Bob Jones U I think temporarily lost tax exemption for disallowing dating between races.

        Conservative catholic colleges like Stubenville or Ave Maria would be canary in the coalmine on this issue regarding gays I guess

        if notre dame gets targeted, cardinal George might be martyred 2 generations earlier than he surmised could happen